Tooth loss will affect nearly all of us at some point in our lives. However, severe tooth loss — meaning that a person has eight or fewer teeth left — can have a severe impact on that person’s quality of life and make it difficult to maintain a healthy diet.
It’s more common than many realize, with about a quarter of adults 65 and older living with severe tooth loss.
Cosmetic dentistry presents solutions for seniors dealing with all levels of tooth loss. Whether you live with chipped and damaged teeth or have lost most of your teeth altogether, here are three potential solutions a cosmetic dentist can recommend for you.
1. Porcelain Dental Veneers
Sometimes, teeth are only damaged instead of lost outright. Either that or they may become crooked or develop gaps between them over time.
When this happens, a family dentistry practice may suggest dental veneers.
Veneers are a type of laminate that are placed over teeth to improve their appearance and function. They’re a non-invasive and cost-effective way to improve the look of your smile while extending the lifespan of damaged, stained, or worn teeth.
2. Dental Bridges
When one or more teeth are missing, a common solution is to have a dental bridge installed.
Suppose you have a gap with healthy teeth on either side of it. A cosmetic dentist can fabricate an artificial tooth that can fill that space, using its healthy neighbors to anchor it in place.
The replacement tooth will look and function like the natural tooth it replaced, making bridges a prime option for filling in unwanted gaps.
3. Cosmetic Dentistry Implants
Over the last decade or so, dental implants became the preferred solution for replacing missing teeth.
The way that the process works is that a screw-like titanium implant is implanted into the jawbone where the root of a missing tooth would be. Once implanted, new bone will grow around the implant, securing it in place as though it were a natural tooth.
Once the patient has healed from the implanting procedure, a crown resembling a natural tooth is secured on top of the implant. To the casual observer, the implant is indistinguishable from a real tooth. And if properly cared for, implants can last for a lifetime.
That’s how the process looks for replacing a single tooth. But for individuals dealing with significant or complete tooth loss, implant supported dentures may be a more effective choice.
This type of implant replaces an entire row of missing teeth with a bridge secured in place by two or three implants. It’s a cost-effective and less intensive way to replace multiple missing teeth all at one time.
Restoring Smiles With Cosmetic Dental Work
Dentistry for seniors has come a long way since the days of uncomfortable, ill-fitting dentures. With modern cosmetic dentistry solutions, you don’t have to live with damaged or missing teeth any longer. To restore your smile to its sterling glory, all you need do is seek out the right cosmetic dentists in your area.
Of course, your dental health isn’t the only factor that can affect your wellness. For all the news you need to live your best life, be sure to keep up with our latest health tips and guides.